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People often waver on when to hire a financial advisor. Culling through the plethora of general financial and investment advice on Google may do the trick for years. Chatting with close friend and family circles can be helpful. Yet there still may be an underlying hesitation, fear, confusion, or lack of confidence on how to move forward with your investments. It’s the tipping point – when seeking out a financial professional to assess your whole picture becomes worthwhile.

Personal finances are exactly that – personal.

Every individual has a unique situation. Certain life events frequently trigger the need for additional guidance. Marriage or divorce, real estate purchases or sales, inheritances, family shifts, and career trajectory changes, just to name a few. As your personal situation becomes more complex, financial organization is increasingly beneficial. Maybe you have conflicting financial goals – saving for retirement, paying for your children’s education, caring for elderly relatives, growing a business. Other variables such as net worth, income streams, cash flow requirements, debt management and overall investment complexity make big differences in your needs too. The ultimate goal is to have peace of mind about where you stand and where you’re headed in the future.

The cost side of the equation.

Often advisors gloss over what investing costs or what fee they charge. Be cognizant that many investment vehicles and money management styles can be expensive. It’s important to know how much you’ll be paying the financial advisor for his or her service. If you don’t understand how you’ll be charged, ask for clarification. The cost side of the equation is a very important piece in your decision making process, particularly when you’re weighing your options. It shouldn’t be a mystery as to the fee you’ll be charged or what the financial advisor is doing to earn your money.

Setting expectations.

Likewise, when you contact a financial advisor for an interview, be firm about what you’re looking for out of any potential relationship. Be leery of attempts to “sell” you products or services you have no interest in or need for. To avoid this potential issue, consider seeking out a fiduciary. A fiduciary is legally bound to keep your best interests at the forefront of any recommendations. A common misconception is that financial advisors will only help you if you’re hiring for the long haul. Often you simply need one-off recommendations or confirmation that you’re doing the right thing. If that’s where you are, don’t be afraid to say so.

Confidence and comfort.

In the end, the question of whether hiring a financial advisor will benefit you comes down to comfort level. Can you confidently and successfully navigate what you have going on by yourself? If the answer is yes, then keep doing what you’re doing. If you don’t have the time, inclination, or knowledge base, having a professional to offer support may be the right path forward. The decision is ultimately yours.

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